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Waxing Poetic Optimized

The possibilities are endless when you begin your project with wax. Learn how to paint your own wardrobe with this ancient Indonesian technique!

Wax has been used in making art and crafts for centuries. Wax is made naturally by many plants and animals, but the most common kind is made by bees. Wax can be carved and molded to create sculptures and models. When it’s heated it becomes liquid and can be used in new ways. It can be mixed with fragrances to create candles or used as coating for wood products. When heated, beeswax can be mixed with colored pigments and used as paint to create what are called “encaustic” paintings.

The Indonesian fabric-printing technique known as "Batik" is one of the world's oldest-known forms of painting. The "Batik" technique has been used since 100 AD and involves making patterns out of melted wax. After the wax cools the fabrics are dyed and painted. Finally, the dried fabrics are ironed between pieces of brown paper that absorb the wax, leaving the design un-dyed and the fabric soft. Crayons are a perfect way to make drawings and designs on fabric. For this project we mixed a few techniques and came up with a new use for our KID MADE MODERN Crayon Gem!


Tools Needed:

  1. 100% cotton t-shirt, washed and dried
  2. KID MADE MODERN Crayon Gem
  3. Carrot peeler
  4. Ironing board
  5. Brown paper bags, cut open on the sides and flattened
  6. Aluminum foil
  7. Pencil
Step 1:

Carefully use a carrot peeler to shave off curls of wax from the Crayon Gem on to a piece of foil.

Step 2:

Trace around the outside edge of your t-shirt onto a piece of brown paper bag and cut out. Place the paper inside of the t-shirt to keep the wax from seeping through to the back. 

Step 3:

Lightly sprinkle the wax chips into a pattern that you like. Avoid leaving big clumps of crayon in one spot, as this will... 

Step 4:

*Ask an adult to help with this step*
Carefully place a piece of brown paper on top of the crayon design. Set iron to medium (no steam) and wait until it's heated. Pressing down firmly, slowly move the iron across the paper. 

Step 5:

As the iron heats the wax crayons, they will melt into the fabric, and the excess wax will be absorbed into the paper. When the paper is discolored with wax, pull the paper off the t-shirt. Grab a new sheet of paper and repeat this process until all of the wax is absorbed. This may take between 2 to 4 pieces of paper depending on how much crayon has been used.


One man's trash is another man's treasure! Save the brown papers used in the pressing process, as they can be turned into new works of art, like these one-of-a-kind note cards! 

Happy Waxing!